Right now there is a lot of discussion regarding Taylor Swift’s lack of manners. Her rudeness. Her presumptuousness in showing up to a wedding she hadn’t been invited to attend. The story goes like this. Twenty-two year old Taylor Swift is currently dating eighteen year old Conor Kennedy. Conor was invited to his cousin’s wedding and he never bothered to RSVP. He texted the Mother of the Bride (MOTB) an hour before the wedding asking to come and to bring his girlfriend. The MOB said no. He showed up anyway with his Grammy award winning squeeze and the MOTB asked them to leave. They ignored her. She asked again. They left for a while and then came back. Somehow the MOTB ended up talking to a newspaper and telling them all about Taylor’s rudeness. The MOTB just happens to be Kathy Lee Gifford’s step-daughter. So Kathy was asked and she went on her show and stated that her step-daughter’s tale of woe was correct and that Taylor Swift stole the spotlight from the bride and behaved like an entitled snot- though she didn’t say that part aloud, it was definitely the undercurrent of the censure. Kathy made a big deal about the MOTB planning a beautiful sit down dinner that couldn’t possibly accommodate added guests without RUINING EVERYTHING FOREVER.
Now I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift’s music. I don’t know her personally. She may be an entitled snot. I have no idea. But I know a few things about life.
1. Until I was thirty-one years old and planning my own wedding, I never RSVP-ed for a single event I was invited to attend. I never knew the importance of it and I didn’t have a clue how difficult it is to handle a wedding when people won’t get back to you. So the fact that a teenager and his early twenties girlfriend made this faux pas hardly seems shocking.
2. You are out of your mind if you think their sit down dinner couldn’t accommodate two extra guests. I refuse to believe that the KENNEDY FAMILY didn’t make allowances in their food budget for two extra people. I call shenanigans on it. Caterers always provide more food than is necessary just to accommodate last minute additions and unforeseen circumstances. It’s a trade standard. So if my podunk, gnome themed, picnic wedding had extra food- so much we had to throw it away- you can bet the freaking Kennedys had extra plates to spare .
3. Kathy Lee was stating that her showing up stole the spotlight from the bride. This I believe is the real crux of the issue. The MOTB didn’t want her daughter upstaged by a cutesy country pop tart. As Kathy stated, “It’s the BRIDE’S DAY.” I won’t even get into the antiquated and the inherent sexism of a statement like that but I will say that no one was gonna be confused about whose day it was. The whole thing feels very, Oh mercy, lawk a lawdy the bride went unnoticed! It’s so ludicrous to assume that a wedding full of famous, rich politicians and famous rich celebrities (Kathy Lee included) were going to fall apart and swarm Taylor for autographs rather than watch the ceremony. Calm down. Take deep breaths. Focus on priorities. It would have resolved itself quickly.
Yes it’s very rude to crash someone’s wedding and not leave when asked. I chalk this up to either miscommunication, youthful stupidity or conflicting you’re invited/no you’re not stuff that happens with big families. But to me, the most appalling behavior came from the MOTB and Kathy Lee Gifford.
One of the most important pieces of the etiquette puzzle is GRACIOUSNESS. The ability to roll with the punches and smile and not only make yourself look good, but to make your other guests comfortable, even if this means downplaying someone’s rudeness. Graciousness allows you to preserve the solemnity and peace of the occasion. A gracious hostess would have made a place for them and acted as though nothing were amiss. She could have reamed them out to her hearts content - in private- but throwing out a family member during the wedding because he didn’t RSVP seems so gauche to me. Then you add in that she took it a step further and complained about the situation to the press and made it all public. How very unmannered of her.
Graciousness means you don’t point out other people’s rudeness because that is rude in and of itself. **
She is the one who turned her daughter's wedding from a joyous event about two people in love to a sound bite about Taylor Swift’s behavior. Now her daughter’s wedding is rag magazine gossip fodder for bored middle class schlubs like myself. Congrats. You made sure Taylor stole all the press and all the attention.
The lesson of all of these faux and pas is that we should all remember the most important tenet of Basic Etiquette and Civility 101: you can’t fix an asshole by being an asshole.
**I’m aware of the hypocrisy of gracelessly pointing out her rudeness for pointing out someone else’s rudeness but I’m disappointed. Everything I know about rich people I learned from Gossip Girl. The MOTB should have sucked it up, pasted on a smile, slid a headband into her hair and plotted her revenge Blair Waldorf style.